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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Mathare United quartet deservedly picked for Harambee Stars - Ali

8:34 AM GMT 07/12/2019
Roy Okal of Mathare United.
The coach says the players are technically good to serve the national team in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda

Mathare United head coach Salim Ali has said his players in the Harambee Stars team for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup deserve those positions.

Francis Kimanzi, a former Mathare United player and long-time coach, picked Andrew Juma, Kevin Kimani, Roy Okal and David Owino in the national team that is hoping to defend the Cecafa title in Uganda on December 7-19.

“I am not surprised that the four players have made the squad. They totally deserve the call-ups and as a coach, I am proud because it as well highlights the work we are doing at Mathare as a group,” Ali told the club's website.

“Three of them except for [Roy] Okal have been in and around the national team and it is not a huge challenge for them. And also, having a coach who knows them as well as Kimanzi will help them in settling down.” 

Ali further explained why the players could be of great help to Harambee Stars who will start their title defence on Sunday against Tanzania.

“They are all technically gifted with varying qualities. For example, [Andrew] Juma is a unique player as he is a left-footed central defender while Kimani brings experience as well as the fact he can plug-in several holes in midfield as well as in attack,” added the tactician.

After the withdrawal of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia, the Cecafa Secretariat was forced to revise fixtures which meant Kenya were shifted from Group C to Group B where Zanzibar and Sudan are also members.